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Adventures in going to the post office: Special failure edition

Dear readers,

I hope this finds you well and stuffed full of Thanksgiving memories.

Today, I officially began the beautiful thing that some like to refer to as a "four day weekend."

Unfortunately, I made the mistake of trying to be semi-productive. For those of you that have been following the limited details of my recent postal adventures, let me get you up to speed a bit:

Two weeks ago, I decided to open a P.O. Box. I do this, and arrange to have all of my mail (which had been put on hold) forwarded to the new P.O. Box.

A few days later, I decided that I probably made a mistake, and needed to upgrade to a P.O. Box one size larger than the one that I had gotten.

Obviously, I wish I would have decided this before I put the forwarding order in, but oh well - what's done was done. I go to the post office thinking I can pay a few bucks extra and just upgrade.


In the eyes of the post office, this is a whole new transaction, and they'll conveniently refund half the cost of the other P.O. Box, even though it's been less than a week since I opened it. I silently decide to hold on to both boxes until I get the forwarding thing sorted out, and depart from the post office.

Flash forward to earlier this week. I go to the post office to pick up my mail, and finally the forwarded mail has been routed to my P.O. Box, and I get mail for the first time in two weeks. While I'm there, I decide to try my key on the new P.O. Box, and it doesn't work. I'm bummed, but after having been to the post office the previous two consecutive Saturdays, I'm cool with going back again to get things sorted out. After all, when I got my initial P.O. Box there, I had the same key issue, went back to the counter that same day, they did something, and suddenly everything was golden.

So I wasn't worried - a simple mistake on the post office side of things that had happened to me twice - it will all work out.

Today, I go to the post office and walk in the door to see not a SINGLE soul in line - SWEET! I walk up to the front, and the postal person finishes with the customer he's working with, and calls me up to the counter.

Me - Hi. I just opened a new P.O. Box, and my key isn't working

Postal Dude - You DIDN'T try your keys before you left?

Me - Um, no.

Postal Dude -
Do you have your receipt?

Me - No, but here's my driver's license.

Postal dude disappears to go check the keys, and I'm mildly irritated, but it's cool. But then he comes back.

Postal Dude - That box ISN'T available to be rented

Me - Uh, okay.

Postal Dude - I don't show that you have any P.O. Boxes rented at this post office.

Me - Okay, well that's a problem, because I have two.

Postal Dude - Well then you need to either come back with your receipt today, or come see the postal box clerk, who is here from 4am until noon each day. She is the only one that has access to the records for all of the P.O. Boxes.

So I leave the post office, feeling great that apparently I am the a-hole for having keys that don't work for a P.O. Box that I paid money for. Let's not assign any blame to the previous postal person that apparently hit a wrong keystroke and put the wrong box number on my receipt. I'd love to produce that receipt that will apparently magically make things all better - only problem with that is that the receipt is sitting on my desk in my office, 40 minutes away in a building I don't have keys to.


There's a message somewhere in all of this, but I'm not quite sure what it is.

Oh, yes I am: Going to the post office sucks. All hail the automated postal machine. I can't wait for the day that it can handle all of my postal problems and needs, because I am fine with never having to talk to a live postal person ever again!

Perhaps life would be easier if all of the mail personnel were like the mailman in the Chevy Chase film Funny Farm?


It would be funnier, at least!

Funny Farm clips (including the crazy mailman)

Wilco - Box Full of Letters (live)

  • Brian

    That sucks. I would have been a real a-hole to that clerk…